Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
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- Russia formally withdrew from the CFE (Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe).
CFE: A Background
- In 1973, the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Talks (MBFR) opened in Vienna between the United States, the USSR, and other NATOand Warsaw Pact members.
- The goal was to reach an agreement on the reduction of troops and armaments in Central Europe.
- In 1986, the USSR and the Warsaw Pact called for Europe-wide reductions.
- NATO proposed to establish a new negotiating forum that would supersede the MBFR and discuss new Europe-wide reductions.
- In 1989, NATO and the Warsaw Pact initiated a mandate on negotiations on conventional forces in Europe (CFE).
- On 19 November 1990, the CFE Treaty was signed in Paris.
- The main objective of the Treaty was to reduce the possibility of a surprise armed attack and the triggering of major offensive operations in Europe.
- On 15 May 1992, the States Parties signed the Tashkent Agreement on the Principles and Procedures for the Implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which redistributed the former USSR’s equipment and strength targets among the signatories.
- CFE was negotiated and concluded during the last years of the Cold War.
- The 1990 treaty, negotiated and concluded at the end of the Cold War.
- Signed a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it placed limits on the deployment of military equipment to maintain military balance between NATO and the then-Warsaw Pact countries.
The Treaty was signed in Paris on November 19, 1990 by 22 countries.
These countries were divided into two groups:
- the then-16 NATO members: The United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Belgium.
- the then-six Warsaw Treaty states: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.
- The treaty entered into force on November 9, 1992.
- To establish comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe.
- It mandated the destruction of excess weaponry.
- The treaty proposed equal limits for the two "groups of states-parties", the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact.
Russia's recent withdrawal: The response
- On 7 November 2023, Russia withdrew from the treaty, and in response, the United States and its NATO allies suspended their participation in the treaty.
Significance of CFE
- Negotiated during the final years of the Cold War, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty is often referred to as the "cornerstone of European security."
- The treaty, eliminated the Soviet Union's overwhelming quantitative advantage in conventional weapons in Europe by setting equal limits on the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters. NATO and the Warsaw Pact could deploy these between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains. CFE aimed to prevent it.
READ ABOUT COLD WAR PHASES, WARSAW ACT etc:
READ ABOUT NATO:
Q. Consider the following statements with reference to the Future Leaders Scholarship Program.
1.Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was negotiated and concluded during the last years of World War.
2.It mandated the destruction of excess weaponry.
3.The States Parties signed the Tashkent Agreement on the Principles and Procedures for the Implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
How many of the above statements are incorrect?
A) Only 1
B) Only 2
C) All 3
Answer: A) Only 1
Only statement 1 is incorrect.